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Razaan Byrne, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KARE11 in the story “Festive fun aside, pediatrician says some Halloween activities can be important for children’s development.”

Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by CBS Minnesota in the story, “What is RSV? What should parents be looking for?

Jill Amsberry, DO, FAAP, presented at the national Reach Out and Read conference at the plenary session titled “Health Systems and Incorporation of Reach Out and Read”.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, authored the piece “Community health centers are the backbone of our healthcare safety net” which was published in the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder.

Sarah Kinsella, MD, CAQ, FAAP, co-authored an AAP Voices Blog titled, “How Can we Support the Mental Health of Young Athletes.”

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, spoke with WCCO-TV about the on-going formula shortage affecting families, including information about formula imported to the U.S. from other countries.

Minnesota Reformer recently featured a Q&A article with Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, about his work as the medical director of Minnesota Medicaid and his efforts to address systemic racism and health disparities in the state.

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, was featured in a WCCO-TV story, “Pediatrician Raises Concerns over Legalized THC Edibles, Drinks.” Dr. Chawla was also interviewed by KARE11, along with Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, in the story “Vaccine Rollout Slow So Far For Kids Younger Than 5.
Kelly Bergmann, DO, MS, FAAP, and colleagues and Children’s Minnesota, were published in JAMA Open Network for their research letter, “Analysis of COVID-19–Related Croup and SARS-CoV-2 Variant Predominance in the US.” A cross-sectional study conducted by the group found the proportion of children with COVID-19-related group increased during the Omicron surge. The findings expanded on recent, single-center studies that found an association between COVID-19 and croup.
Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, authored a Readers Write submission published in the Star Tribune. In the submission, Dr. Lichtsinn urged for expanded access to abortion care in Minnesota and encouraged health systems to normalize the practice of abortion care in their clinics.
Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, was interviewed on PBS NewsHour for the segment, “What parents need to know about newly approved COVID vaccines for children under age 5.
Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, spoke with WCCO-TV about the expected approval of emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months and older. You can see the segment here, starting around the 1:00 mark.
Robert O. Fisch, MD, passed away June 12 on his 97th birthday. Dr. Fisch was a Holocaust survivor, an advocate for early childhood education and reading, a published author, and a renowned clinical researcher. Read more about his remarkable life here.
Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by MPR News about the rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Dawn Martin, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by the Star Tribune about the Hennepin Healthcare mobile health care outreach van.

Gerald Gilchrist, MD, FAAP, passed away on April 10. Dr. Gilchrist was active in Minnesota with Reach Out and Read and in retirement, participated in MNAAP’s policy committee. While at Mayo Clinic, he chaired the pediatric department and led the section of pediatric hematology and oncology before that.

Charles Oberg, MD, MPH, FAAP, and Diana Cutts, MD, FAAP were among the co-authors of the report The impact of COVID-19 on children’s lives in the United States: Amplified inequities and a just path to recovery published in Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care.

Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP, FCCM, was a presenter in a recent webinar focused on firearm death and injury hosted by the Minnesota Medical Association and the Public Health Advocacy Student Alliance at the University of Minnesota.

Anjali Goel, MD, FAAP, spoke at a press conference held by Gov. Tim Walz discussing the importance of paid family and medical leave in Minnesota. Dr. Goel pointed to the critical period of brain development in the first 5 years of a child’s life and said, “Paid family leave eliminates the choice so many families have to make between optimizing their child’s development and economic security.”

Past MNAAP President Anne Edwards, MD, FAAP, has been promoted to chief medical officer of the AAP. She previously served as chief population health officer and senior vice president of primary care and subspecialty pediatrics.

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, co-authored the article “Child Abuse in Texas” for the Hastings Center.

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, authored a letter to the editor in MyVillager calling for a fuller view of vaccine data by the publication.

Mark Schleiss, MD, FAAP, was recently awarded the 2021-22 UMMC Medical Staff Award for Clinical Research and Innovation.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was published in the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder with the article, “Report aims to close gap in health disparities for U.S.-born Blacks Minnesotans.”

Valeria Cristiani, MD, FAAP, testified on Wednesday before the House Preventative Health Policy Division about House File 3114, which supports establishing grants and a contract for activities to sustain school-based health centers. You can hear Dr. Cristiani’s testimony in this audio file beginning near the 24-minute mark.

Ashley Bjorklund, MD, FAAP, and Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP, were among the co-authors of the article, “Pediatric Critical Care in Resource Limited Settings—Lessening the Gap Through Ongoing Collaboration, Advancement in Research and Technological Innovations” published in Frontiers in Pediatrics.

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KARE11 in the story, “Doctors: BA.2 subvariant could affect omicron peak in Minnesota.

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, has been added to the national AAP spokesperson roster to represent the AAP on matters of child and teen health.

Mark R. Schleiss, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by MPR News in the story, “With flu cases on the rise, hospitals brace for impact.”

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, and Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, were interviewed by KSTP for the story, “Minnesota healthcare providers see a rise in COVID cases among children.” Dr. Berkowitz also spoke with WCCO radio about the increasing number of pediatric cases of COVID.

Eileen Crespo, MD, FAAP, and Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, are among the providers featured in a series of tv public service announcements from the Minnesota Department of Health talking to parents about COVID-19 vaccines and disease prevention.

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, and Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, were quoted as part of a press release by the Minnesota Department of Health: “Commissioner Malcolm thanks health care providers and partners one year into administering COVID-19 vaccines.”

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAPspoke as part of a large group of medical providers urging people to get vaccinated as part of the joint message from hospitals and health systems to Minnesota residents.

Mark R. Schleiss, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by WCCO-TV and he urged people not to skip their flu shot this year.

Jill Amsberry, DO, FAAP, was interviewed by the Star Tribune for the article, “St. Cloud elementary vaccine clinic latest in efforts to reach underserved populations.”

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, was a guest on MPR News with Angela Davis for the show, “Raising a gender expansive child.”

Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP; Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP; and Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, were all interviewed in the KARE11 story, “High demand for vaccines in Minnesota after 5- to 11-year-olds become eligible.”

Madeleine Gagnon, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by the Star Tribune in the article, “Dip in pre-K-12 COVID may be short-lived in Minnesota.” Dr. Gagnon also spoke with MPR News in the story, “Vaccine clinics for younger children expand in Minnesota.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, spoke with MPR News about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations for younger kids and was interviewed by the Star Tribune in the story, “More information can reframe the risks and rewards of vaccinating your child against COVID-19.”

Roger Sheldon, MD, FAAP, Mary Meland, MD, FAAP; and Dale Dobrin, MD, FAAP, co-authored a Readers Write submission published in the Star Tribune calling for a focus on early childhood development and education.

Kelly Bergmann, DO, MS, FAAP, was awarded Best Overall Abstract in the Emergency Medicine section and the Advocacy Scholarship Recognition by the Emergency Medicine Advocacy Subcommittee at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2021 Virtual National Conference & Exhibition. Dr. Bergmann is the director of research for the department of emergency medicine at Children’s Minnesota.

Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP, was voted on to the Executive Committee of the AAP’s Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention in August.

Dawn Martin, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by Fox 9 for a story about the Hennepin Healthcare mobile vaccination clinic and new Head Start pop-up clinic.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, authored the article, “Building Racial Equity into Health Policy” and Janna Gewirtz O’Brien, MD, MPH, FAAP, authored the article, “Cross-Sector Collaboration: Physician Activism Within Community.” Both appeared in the fall issue of MetroDoctors.

Angela Mattke, MD, FAAP, interviewed Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, for the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast episode, “Vaccines and kids — what you need to know about COVID-19, flu.

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KARE11 for the story, “COVID shots for younger kids: Answering top questions parents may have.

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, authored a Readers Write submission that was published in the Star Tribune. In her submission, Dr. Lichtsinn urged policy leaders in Minnesota to enforce public health measures in schools to allow for safe access to education for all Minnesota children.

Jill Amsberry, DO, FAAP, and Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, received the Minnesota Medical Association’s President’s Award, which recognizes those who have given much of their free time to help improve the association.

Michael Pitt, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by NBC News for the story, “Covid likely led to a rare disorder that left 8-year-old girl paralyzed.”

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, authored the article, “Best Practices for Physicians Looking to Grow Their Advocacy Voice” and Calla Brown, MD, FAAP, authored the article, “Listening to Learn and Learning to Listen” in the fall issue of MetroDoctors.

Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, joined youth from across the state for a virtual town hall led by the Minnesota FFA and MN HOSA Future Medical Professionals. The town hall gave students an opportunity to discuss how the pandemic has impacted their school experience, how they can have a safe and meaningful school year and what actions youth can take to curb the spread. You can see a recording of the event here.

Adam Langenfeld, MD, PhD, FAAP, and Kimara Gustafson, MD, MPH, FAAP, had a case study entitled “Importance of Trauma-Informed Practice in Evaluation of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder” published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, co-authored the article, “How schools can protect our children and their future when reopening” which was published by the Brookings Institution.

Madeleine Gagnon, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by Fox 9 for the story, “Families of children with underlying conditions await approval of COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids.

MNAAP Immunization Work Group Co-Chair Garrett Jones, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KARE11 for the story, “These are the mandatory vaccinations your kids need before starting school in Minnesota.“

Jill Foster, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by WCCO-TV for the segment, “When Will COVID-19 Vaccines Be Ready for Kids?

Sarah Kinsella, MD, CAQ, FAAP, was recently elected to the AAP Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness Executive Committee for a three-year term. Dr. Kinsella currently practices at M Health Fairview Orthopedics in Blaine.

Nipunie Rajapakse, MD, FAAP, was interviewed in the WCCO-TV story, “Experts Warn COVID Cases in Kids are Rising.” Chapter President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, was also featured in the story.

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, was featured in the WCCO-TV story, “As School Year Approaches, COVID Developments Cause Concern For Parents” and was interviewed by KARE11 for the story, “As the delta variant spreads, a doctor answers your top questions.”

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, authored the commentary, “To protect kids, Walz needs to mandate a statewide school mask mandate” published in the Minnesota Reformer. Dr. Lichtsinn was also interviewed by WCCO-TV for the story, “CDC Recommends Masks For All In K-12 Schools, Regardless Of Vaccination Status.”

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder’s COVID-19 Check-In.

Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, spoke with KSTP for the story, “Health expert: Get kids vaccinated against COVID-19 now to be protected in time for school.” Dr. Singh also spoke with WCCO Radio about the importance of getting kids 12 and older vaccinated before school begins.

MNAAP Treasurer Janna Gewirtz O’Brien, MD, FAAP, wrote the opinion letter, “An investment in housing is an investment in the health of Minnesotans” which was published recently in MinnPost.

MNAAP Board Member Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, was a featured guest on WCCO’s Mid-Morning for the segment, “Pediatrician Speaks to the Hidden Dangers of Summer.

Gabrielle Hester, MD, MS, FAAP, was quoted in the article, “Children’s Minnesota tackles racial health disparities.”

MNAAP Board Member Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was interviewed in the story, “Minnesota COVID-19 Case Rates Reach Low Levels as State Tries to Equitably Administer Vaccines.”

MNAAP Treasurer Janna Gewirtz O’Brien, MD, FAAP, represented AAP during a webinar through the Opportunity Starts at Home coalition, a multi-sector campaign focused on equitable housing policies. Watch the full presentation here.

MNAAP Board Member Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was quoted in the Star Tribune articles, “Minnesota makes progress in closing gap on COVID-19 vaccine disparities” and “GOP candidate for governor Scott Jensen joins court case to halt COVID vaccines for kids” in which he spoke to the importance of vaccinating children and teens against COVID-19.

Nipunie Rajapakse, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by The Globe for the story, “Mayo sees high numbers of children getting vaccinated in SE Minnesota.”

MNAAP Board Member Rachel Téllez, MD, FAAP, spoke with the Star Tribune about children and teens wearing masks and urged vaccinated parents to model good masking practices for unvaccinated kids.

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KARE11 for the story, “What does COVID vaccine mean for other vaccines kids need?” Dr. Jacobson is a past president of MNAAP.

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, was interviewed in the WCCO Mid-Morning Show segment, “Pediatrician Answers Parents’ Concerns Over COVID Vaccine.”

Andrew Barnes, MD, FAAP, Adam Langenfeld, MD, PhD, FAAP, and Marvin So were published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics for the piece, “Adolescent Sleep and Mental Health Across Race/Ethnicity.

Abe Jacob, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KSTP for the story, “Health experts say children should continue wearing masks as Minnesota lifts mandate.”

MNAAP Board Member Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was elected to the AAP Section on Minority health Equity and Inclusion’s Executive Committee. His term will begin this November. Dr. Chomilo’s piece, “Helping children exposed to toxic stress” was also published in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and he was interviewed in the Mother Jones’ article, “The Real Reason Behind the Misinformation Epidemic in Online Moms’ Groups.”

Lori DeFrance, MD, FAAP, and Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, were recently recognized with Special Achievement Awards from the AAP. Dr. DeFrance is a past president of the chapter and a current board member. She is a frequent contributor to media in Minnesota and a testifier at the State Capitol and local governments on issues of concern for children/teens. Dr. Singh also serves on the chapter board of directors. She is chair of pediatrics at Park Nicollet/HealthPartners and the co-chair of the Children’s Health Initiative for Health Partners. She is also the only physician on the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet.

MNAAP Board Member Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by the Star Tribune for the article, “Younger teens start receiving COVID-19 vaccine in Minnesota.

MNAAP Board Member Katie Smentek, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KTOE for the story, “Mankato Clinic physicians encourage vaccination for adolescents.” Dr. Smentek discussed the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents, as well as the importance of keeping on track with childhood and teen immunizations during the pandemic.

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KTTC for the story, “Mayo Clinic pediatrician addresses recent expansion of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.” Dr. Jacobson also spoke to the Post Bulletin in the article “Younger teens begin receiving COVID vaccine in Southeast Minnesota.” Dr. Jacobson is a past president of MNAAP.

MNAAP Board Member Gretchen Karstens, MD, FAAP, authored the column, “Doctor’s View: ‘When fewer people smoke, we all save money’” for the Duluth News Tribune.

MNAAP Board Member Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, spoke to the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council Migrant Head Start policy council and staff about the COVID vaccine, safety, and hesitancy.

Nipunie Rajapakse, MD, FAAP, was interviewed in the story, “Mayo Clinic Pediatricians layout road ahead for child vaccination.”

Former MNAAP president and current Minnesota Medical Association President Marilyn Peitso, MD, FAAP, co-authored a Star Tribune commentary, “Systemic racism must be removed from medicine” discussing a recently launched a two-year initiative to combat clinician biases in order to promote health and racial equity.

MNAAP Board Member Michael Pitt, MD, FAAP, was recently profiled in the Star Tribune, “Like magic, M Health Fairview pediatrician eases his young patients’ worries with tricks.”

MNAAP Board Member Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, offered her expertise in the KARE11 story, “Johnson & Johnson vaccine connected to blood clots, doctors break down what you need to know.

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, recently authored a Readers Write submission in the Star Tribune, encouraging the repeal of the three/seven rule for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in favor of prioritizing vaccine equity.

Garrett Jones, MD, FAAP, co-chair of the MNAAP Immunization Work Group, recently authored a Star Tribune Readers Write submission, writing about the importance of keeping on track with childhood immunizations in light of increase in-person learning and the potential for increased COVID-19 eligibility.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, and Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, testified before the Minnesota House Health Policy and Finance Committee, in support of HF 2113, which attempts to address COVID-19 vaccine equity for BIPOC communities. You can view their testimony in this video from the March 22 meeting.

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, and Katy Miller, MD, FAAP, presented “#ProtectTransKids and #LetThemPlay: The new wave of legislation targeting transgender youth” as part of Children’s Minnesota’s virtual grand rounds. The presentation will be posted to Children’s Clinician Education site.

Kathy Kulus, MD, FAAP, was a guest on MPR News with Angela Davis, discussing the effect of climate change on health.

Dawn Martin, MD, FAAP, was a guest on MPR News with Angela Davis on Wednesday, March 10 for the show “Americans put off health care during the pandemic, and it’s time to catch up.” Dr. Martin discussed the pandemic’s effect on childhood immunization rates.

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, was quoted in the Star Tribune article, “Minnesota to address racial and ethnic inequities in COVID-19 vaccinations.”

Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, was a featured speaker at the Minnesota School-Based Health Alliance Summit 2021, delivering the presentation, “Building Resilient Students: Moving past the pandemic from Crisis Management to Fostering Growth.”

Crystal Knutson, MD, FAAP, was featured in the KARE11 story, “A trip to the doctor led to a life-saving diagnosis; now baby Ozzie’s wait for a heart begins.”

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, was interviewed for the WCCO-TV story, “When Will Children Be Able To Get Vaccinated? Mayo Clinic Pediatrician Weighs In.” Dr. Jacobson was also quoted in the Star Tribune article, “Minnesota health officials ask students and families to take COVID-19 tests every two weeks.”

Abe Jacob, MD, MHA, FAAP, presented during Gov. Tim Walz’s Thursday press conference about the timelines for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Jill Amsberry, DO, FAAP, presented during Gov. Tim Walz’s Thursday press conference, discussing outreach for vaccine distribution in greater Minnesota.

Krishnan Subrahmanian MD, FAAP, was interviewed by WCCO TV for the story, “How To Fight Cabin Fever During Minnesota’s Deep Freeze.

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP; Past President Marilyn Peitso, MD, FAAP; Anne Griffiths, MD, FAAP; and Beth Thielen, MD, PhD, FAAP testified before the Minnesota House Health Policy and Finance Committee in support of HF 604, which would require face coverings in certain settings.

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, testified before the Minnesota Senate Committee on Health and Human Services Finance and Policy about mask use during youth sports.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, authored a piece on his journey to getting a COVID shot published in the Sahan Journal and had a follow up conversation with Tom Crann on MPR about his experience. Dr. Chomilo was a guest on KMOJ on Jan. 25, talking with Chantel Sings and Marcus Owens from the African American Leadership Forum about the COVID-19 vaccine. The conversation will re-air on Saturday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 pm.

Misty Folkestad, MD, FAAP, was featured in the Brainerd Dispatch article, “Minnesota 16-year-old nearly died from rare condition linked to COVID-19.

The chapter was mentioned in the Crookston Times for its partnership as a sponsor of the Escape the Vape contest.

Abe Jacob, MD, FAAP, spoke with KARE11 for the story “You asked, a top doctor answered some of the most popular questions about COVID-19 vaccines.”

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, and Calla Brown, MD, FAAP, co-authored the op-ed “Minnesota is obligated to provide adequate health care to people who are incarcerated; here’s some first steps” with Kathleen Moccio. The submission was published in the Minnesota Reformer.

Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, will be featured on the KMOJ-FM show The Power to the Parent on Sunday at 11 a.m. Dr. Singh will be speaking about Early Brain Development, Little Moments Count and also taking questions about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine hesitancy.

Krishnan Subramanian, MD, FAAP, spoke with WCCO-TV for the story “What Do Families Need To Know About Kids, Masks And Sports?”

Tom Scott, MD, FAAP, authored the letter “Sen. Utke, show leadership during this public health crisis” which was published in the Park Rapids Enterprise.

Claire Neely, MD, FAAP; Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP; Steven Inman, MD, FAAP; Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP; Jeanne Mrozek, MD, FAAP; Tom Schrup, MD, FAAP; Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, FAAP, were included as Minnesota Physician’s 100 influential Health Care Leaders.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was recently featured on KARE-11 News for his participation in vaccine trials to help educate and alleviate concerns on COVID-19 vaccines.

Amelia Burgess, MD, FAAP, had a letter published in the Star Tribune, suggesting the phrase “use tax” instead of “sin tax.”

Heather Decker, MD, FAAP, was featured in the NBC News story, “Primary care offices struggling to survive during Covid-19.”

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KARE11 for the story, “What Elliot Page’s coming out means.”

MNAAP Board Member Madeleine Gagnon, MD, FAAP, was joined by Senator Amy Klobuchar at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare on Sunday to highlight the importance of the flu vaccine this season.

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, explained why routine vaccinations for children are so important during the COVID-19 pandemic in this Concord Monitor article. Dr. Jacobson’s guidance on vaccinations was also featured in the article,”Flu vaccination rates falling short in SE Minnesota.

MNAAP Board Member Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KARE11 in the story, “Healthcare workers write letter urging Gov. Walz to dial back even more.”

MNAAP Board Member Kathy Kulus, MD, FAAP, delivered a TEDxSt.Cloud talk with cardiologist Dr. John Mahowald about how climate change is impacting our health.

Blanton Bessinger, MD, FAAP, and past MNAAP President Marilyn Peitso, MD, FAAP, were named as recipients of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Pediatrics Gold-Headed Cane Award for 2020.

Jonathan KenKnight, MD, FAAP, offered advice about trick or treating in this Brainerd Dispatch article.

MNAAP Board Member Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, presented at TEDxMinneapolis Talk on Sept. 20, 2020, focusing on “The revolutionary truth about kids and gender identity.”

MNAAP Board Member Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, and MNAAP Past President Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP, were included in the article “Metro Black doctors ‘give back’ by sharing their expertise” which highlighted physicians who provide expert information and guidance on the health issues of greatest concern to African Americans through the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.

The work of MNAAP Board Member Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, as a pediatrician and medical director of Minnesota’s Medicaid program, will be profiled in the November issue of The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. Read the full article here.

MNAAP Board Member Madeleine Gagnon, MD, FAAP, participated in a conversation with MPR News about managing kids’ screen time during the pandemic. Listen to the audio here.

MNAAP Board Member Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, spoke with KARE11 about rising child obesity rates during the pandemic.

Marilyn Peitso, MD, FAAP, now serves as president of the Minnesota Medical Association. Dr. Peitso is a past president of MNAAP and is a pediatric hospitalist at CentraCare in St. Cloud.

Amelia Burgess, MD, has agreed to serve as the Minnesota E-cigarette Chapter Champion and liaison to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A letter written by Mark Nupen, MD, “Bad laws led to Breonna Taylor’s death” was published in the Pioneer Press recently.

Two MNAAP Board Members were recent guests on the AAP’s weekly podcast, “Pediatrics on Call.” Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, discussed how to encourage patients and caregivers to vote. Michael Pitt, MD, FAAP, spoke about incorporating magic and medicine. Dr. Chomilo was also a guest on the American Medical Association’s Prioritizing Equity YouTube series, talking about the ways in which COVID-19 may uniquely impact the traditional voting process, and the importance of voting for minoritized and marginalized communities. Dr. Pitt’s article, “Magical Thinking: How Learning to Act Like a Magician Can Make You a Better Physician,” was also published in the September 2020 issue of Pediatrics.

MNAAP Board Member Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by KTTC-TV in Rochester about new CDC guidelines categorizing Halloween activities by risk level.

Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP, was quoted in the KARE11 story “Minnesota health officials reflect on COVID-19 pandemic response” and the article, “25 cases of rare child disease possibly linked to COVID-19 in Minnesota” from Bring Me the News.

Tom Scott, MD, FAAP, received the 2020 MNAAP Child Advocacy Award, and Marjorie Hogan, MD, FAAP, received the 2020 MNAAP Distinguished Service Award, during the chapter’s annual meeting on Friday, Sept. 11.

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, was interviewed by WCCO for the segment, “Ask a Pediatrician: Having a Baby During COVID-19 Pandemic.

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by WCCO in the story, “Routines Can Help Students Stay Focused During Uncertainty Of COVID-19 Schooling.”

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, co-authored the piece, “AAP campaign: Vote like children’s futures depend on it” for AAP News and was interviewed by KARE11 about the impact of COVID-19 on children 5 and under.

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, was quoted in the Minnesota Reformer article, “Minnesota’s childhood vaccination rates falling during the pandemic, putting kids at risk.” Former MNAAP President and current Minnesota Medical Association President-elect Marilyn Peitso, MD, FAAP, was also interviewed and offered insight into low immunization rates.

Rachel Tellez, MD, MS, FAAP, has been appointed to the MNAAP/MAPF Executive Committee. She is a pediatrician at Park Nicollet Clinic – Brookdale and chair of the MNAAP’s Poverty and Disparities Work Group.

Marcie Billings, MD, FAAP, has been appointed to the MNAAP/MAPF Board. She is chair of Mayo Clinic’s Division of Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP, will join Nate Chomilo, MD, FAAP, as Co-Chair of the MNAAP Early Childhood Caucus. Dr. Subrahmanian is a pediatrician at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis and Richfield and works closely with Representative Dave Pinto, Chair of the Minnesota Legislature’s Early Childhood Policy and Finance Division. He will be replacing Dr. Tom Scott, who is retiring from that leadership role but plans to remain an active member of the group. The chapter is thankful to Dr. Tom Scott for his past, present and continued work on these issues.

Jill Amsberry, DO, FAAP, wrote the article “Helping Your Kids Mask Up During COVID-19.” Dr. Amsberry is the medical director of CentraCare Pediatrics clinic.

Jonathan KenKnight, MD, FAAP, was quoted in the Duluth News Tribune article, “Northland schools prepare for 2020-21 school year decision” offering advice on preparing children to wear masks as part of the return to school.

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, was featured in the profile, “A Gentle Leader,” in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, was interviewed by the Star Tribune about ways to help children understand the importance of wearing face masks.

Dawn Martin, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by FOX9 about her work starting up the Hennepin Healthcare mobile pediatric vaccine unit, a partnership with Hennepin EMS that helps bring immunizations to patients at their homes.

Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by WCCO in the news story, “With Walz’s Decision On School Looming, Local Pediatrician Weighs In On COVID-19 Child Impacts.

The Star Tribune article, “Non-COVID vaccines offer some COVID protection, Mayo Clinic reports,” cited a MNAAP member survey which estimated a 30 to 40 percent decline in childhood immunizations so far during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Schleiss, MD, FAAP, was quoted in the New York Times article, “What Is It That Keeps Most Little Kids From Getting Covid-19?

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, was appointed by Gov. Walz to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice as a physician member.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by MPR News for the story, “How the decision to resume school might affect Minnesota’s communities of color.”

Anne Griffiths, MD, FAAP, spoke with WCCO’s Mid-Morning show about the possible connection between COVID-19 and vaping.

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, spoke with the MinnPost about the importance of vaccinations and well child visits, and was quoted in this article, “Minnesota doctors see worrisome reduction in childhood immunization rates during pandemic.”

Lori DeFrance, MD, FAAP, MNAAP past-president, was quoted in the article, “Minnesota’s physicians encourage Minnesotans to have routine vaccinations.”

Andrew Olson, MD, FAAP, was quoted in two Pioneer Press articles: “Q&A: Dr. Andrew Olson on the front lines at Bethesda Hospital’s COVID facility in St. Paul” and “It’s been four months since Minnesota recorded its first case of COVID-19. What have we learned?

Jessica Hane, MD, was published in the Star Tribune’s Readers Write urging for state support to end homelessness in Minnesota.

Gigi Chawla, MD, FAAP, spoke on the WCCO Mid-Morning Show about the importance of scheduling well child visits and immunizations.

A photo by Jeff Karp, DMD, titled “Power” was included in Artistic Antidote for a Pandemic from the Center for the Art of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.

Pamela Heggie, MD, FAAP, co-authored the article “In-Hospital Formula Feeding and Breastfeeding Duration” in the AAP’s Pediatrics.

MNAAP Past-President Lori DeFrance, MD, FAAP, was quoted in the Alexandria Echo Press about the decrease in well child visits and childhood immunization rates seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. DeFrance was also quoted in the West Central Tribune encouraging Minnesotans to keep up-to-date with immunizations and well child visits during the pandemic.

The research letter “Preventive Health Care Utilization Among Youths Who Have Run Away, Experienced Homelessness, or Been Stably Housed” co-authored by Janna Gewirtz O’Brien, MD, FAAP, was published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, will speak via Zoom on Tuesday, July 21 from 10 – 11 a.m. in the second part of a two-part series, ” Talking to Kids About Racism,” hosted by the St. Paul Jewish Community Center. Dr. Chomilo will focus on resources and language that can help guide conversations about racism with children. Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, led the first session in the series on Thursday, July 9.

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, spoke with Jana Shortal of KARE11 about the impact canceled in-person Pride Month activities may have on LGBTQ youth. Dr. Goepferd was also a recent guest on the Caring Greatly podcast, discussing the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on LGBTQ+ children and young adults.

Nusheen Ameenuddin, MD, MPH, FAAP, was quoted by CNN in a story about the AAP’s new policy on digital advertising and its effect on kids, which was released on Monday. Dr. Ameenuddin co-authored the policy and is the chair of the AAP Council on Communications and Media.

Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, was quoted in the Star Tribune article, “Parents seek strategies to help kids cope with pandemic, racial injustice.”

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, participated in a virtual panel with Common Sense Media called, “Helping Kids Process Violence, Trauma, and Race in a World of Nonstop News.” You can view a replay of the panel on YouTube. Dr. Chomilo also spoke with Minnesota Public Radio’s Angela Davis about racial health disparities and how to fix them.

Gigi Chawla, MD, FAAP, was featured in a Good Morning America story about health care workers joining clean up efforts and rallies to protest disparities following the death of George Floyd.

Hannah Lichtsinn, MD, FAAP, wrote a letter to the Star Tribune “Protesters should get tested, but their privacy is at risk” arguing that Governor Walz’s executive order 20-34 “poses a significant barrier to adequate and recommended medical care for Minnesotans and should be revoked.”

Gigi Chawla, MD, FAAP, spoke with the Star Tribune about the ways in which Children’s Minnesota is adapting patient visits at its clinic locations in order to provide care to children during the pandemic.

Abe Jacob, MD, FAAP, M Health Fairview chief quality officer, spoke with KARE11 about the importance of mask compliance.

Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP, participated in a webinar hosted by Children’s Health Network exploring epidemiological and policy considerations of COVID-19. MNAAP Executive Director Melissa DeBilzan and Lobbyist Eric Dick also participated.

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, was a guest on WCCO Mid-Morning where she discussed an inflammatory condition being seen in children with COVID-19, as well as the profound impact reading has on children’s development.

Malini DeSilva, MD, FAAP, spoke with the Star TribuneSt. Paul Pioneer Press, and MinnPost about the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that indicated a drop in childhood vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, which Dr. DeSilva co-authored.

Madeleine Gagnon, MD, FAAP, spoke with Fox9 about the rare inflammatory condition being seen in children with COVID-19.

Dawn Martin, MD, FAAP, spoke to the Star Tribune about the importance of childhood vaccinations and well child visits during the pandemic.

Andrew Olson, MD, FAAP, FACP, was quoted in a Star Tribune in an article about COVID-19 preparations and hospital discharges.

Mark Schleiss, MD, FAAP, spoke with KCBS Radio about a rare inflammatory condition being seen in children who test positive for COVID-19.

Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP, spoke with KARE11 about the importance of rituals and resilience to help kids’ mental health during COVID-19.

MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, co-authored the piece “Transitioning Patients With Complex Health Care Needs to Adult Practices: Theory Versus Reality” which has been published online and will appear in the June issue of Pediatrics. Dr. Berkowitz was also published in Minnesota Physician with his article calling for prior authorization reform.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, and Malini DeSilva, MD, FAAP, co-authored an article on racial equity in COVID-19 policy that was published on the Health Affairs blog. Dr. Chomilo also spoke with KARE11 about the importance of well child visits and immunizations during the pandemic, and the New York Times about the possible effects of the pandemic on vulnerable populations.

Hannah Lichstinn, MD, FAAP, created a YouTube series called “COVID Corner with Dr. Hannah” to answer questions about coronavirus from students at her daughter’s elementary school.

Claudia Fox, MD, MPH, FAAP, DABOM was elected to the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Obesity Executive Committee. Her term will start on November 1, 2020.  Please reach out to her via email at lusc0001@umn.edu if you have issues related to childhood obesity that you would like to be addressed.

Julia Joseph-DiCaprio, MD, MPH, FAAP, was featured a recent Star Tribune article for her work at the Elim Church shelter to screen residents for the COVID-19 virus. You can read the article here.

Jessica Hane, MD, was named the recipient of the 2020 Walter Tunnessen Award from Medicine-Pediatrics Program Directors Association (MPPDA).

Holly Belgum, MD, wrote a children’s book to kids better understand quarantine and social distancing.

Abraham Jacob, MD, FAAP, M Health Fairview’s chief quality officer, was recently interviewed in the Star Tribune about hospital use of ultraviolet decontamination with N95 masks. Read the article here.

Pamela Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, has been named the new medical director of Reach Out and Read Minnesota. Dr. Chawla is currently the chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota and is a MNAAP board member. You can read more about her role with Reach Out and Read here.

MNAAP members offered their expertise and insight to the Star Tribune Magazine for the publication’s quarterly “Afraid to Ask” article. The spring article focused specifically on common questions parents and caregivers have about newborns and babies. You can see their answers here.

Several MNAAP members named 2020 Rising Stars by Mpls St.Paul magazine. According to the magazine, physicians who make the list are emerging leaders who have been recognized by peers for significant achievements in the first decade of their profession.

Janna R. Gewirtz O’Brien, MD, FAAP, and Andrew J. Barnes, MD, FAAP and collaborators published “Mental Health Outcomes Among Homeless, Runaway, and Stably Housed Youth,” in the April 2020 issue of Pediatrics.

Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP, past president of MNAAP, has been recognized as a fellow in the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) American College of Critical Care Medicine (ACCM). Fellowship recognizes individuals who have demonstrated significant contributions and have made an impact in the critical care profession at a regional, state, or national level.

The work of Emily Borman-Shoap, MD, FAAP, at the University of Minnesota to help train pediatric residents to better handle mental health issues was profiled in the American Board of Pediatrics’ annual report.

Rachel Tellez, MD, FAAP, was named March 2020 Advocacy Champion by the Minnesota Medical Association. Dr. Tellez was also recently interviewed by KARE11 to answer questions about the Coronavirus. You can see the interview here

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, and Mark Schleiss, MD, FAAP, were recently quoted in a Minnesota Reformer article that shines a spotlight on the connection anti-vaccination advocates have with Minnesota legislators.

Marc Gorelick, MD, MSCE, FAAP, president and CEO of Children’s Minnesota, participated in a panel discussion hosted by Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal  to discuss what the future may bring to the health care industry in 2020.

Diana Cutts, MD, FAAP, has been appointed Chair of Pediatrics at Hennepin Healthcare. Dr. Cutts served as interim chair since 2018.

Janna Gewirtz O’Brien, MD, FAAP, was published with collaborators on the new AAP report “Runaway Youth: Caring for the Nation’s Largest Segment of Missing Children” in the January 2020 issue of Pediatrics.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, has been named as the state of Minnesota’s new Medicaid medical director. 

Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, has been selected to serve on the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, authored an opinion piece in the MinnPost: “Educational disparities: The gap we need to address is the opportunity gap.”

Angela Mattke, MD, FAAP, and Valeria Cristiani, MD, FAAP, answered questions about the importance of well-child appointments through a Facebook Live video Q&A hosted by the Mayo Clinic.

Brian Lynch, MD, FAAP, discussed the science of toxic stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on children on the podcast “Terrible, Thanks for Asking.” The podcast episode titled “What Happened to You” is available in three parts: Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 The episode was produced with Call to Mind, American Public Media’s initiative to foster new conversations about mental health.

Angela Goepferd, MD, FAAP, and Valeria Cristiani, MD, FAAP, have each received a Special Achievement Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Goepferd was recognized for her leadership in professional training and support for LGBTQ and questioning youth in Minnesota. Dr. Cristiani was honored for her drive to start a school-based health clinic at the Rochester Alternative Learning Center.

Kelly Bergmann, MD, FAAP, collaborated with colleagues on an article recently published in the AAP’s Hospital Pediatrics journal. The article was titled, “Identifying Patients With Kawasaki Disease Safe for Early Discharge: Development of a Risk Prediction Model at a US Children’s Hospital.”

Two MNAAP members were honored recently by the American Academy of Pediatrics with awards marking their dedication to the health of children:

Cynthia R. Howard, MD, MPH, FAAP, received the Hillman-Olness Award for Lifetime Service and Lasting Contributions to Global Child Health. Dr. Howard is an associate professor in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Dana E. Johnson, MD, PhD, FAAP, received the Thomas F. Tonniges, MD, FAAP, Lifetime Achievement Award for Advocacy on Behalf of Vulnerable Children. Dr. Johnson is a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology at the University of Minnesota Medical Center – Fairview.

Thomas Schrup, MD, FAAP, was named as a 2019 Community Caregiver by Minnesota Physician medical business journal. Dr. Schrup received the recognition for his volunteer work providing critical wellness visits and consults to homeless youth in St. Cloud.

Anne Griffiths, MD, FAAP, a pediatric pulmonologist with Children’s Minnesota, participated in the webinar Update on Severe Lung Injury Associated with Vaping, Clinical Issues and Epidemiology in Minnesota. The webinar was co-hosted by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Hospital Association. The webinar recording is available here.

Emily Chapman, MD, FAAP, was a guest on the Sept. 18th Dr. Oz Show, discussing recent lung injuries related to vaping. Dr. Chapman is the chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, where several teens have been treated for vaping-related lung injury.

Dick Wicklund, MD, FAAP; Beatrice Murray, MD, FAAP; Paula Mackey, MD, FAAP; Linda Thompson, MD, FAAP; Ted Jewett, MD, FAAP; Mike Severson, MD, FAAP; Carolyn Levitt, MD. FAAP; and Kristin Benson, MD, FAAP joined Dan Broughton, MD, FAAP for the September Senior Pediatrician Lunch.

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, joined MPR News host Angela Davis to discuss talking with children about gender and how to create an inclusive environment for all students at school. You can hear their conversation here.

Emily Borman-Shoap, MD, FAAP; Jessica Hane, MD; Erin McHugh, MD; and Heidi Moline, MD, authored a Readers Write article in the Star Tribune that detailed the risks of vaping for adolescents and called for legislation to regulate vaping and e-cigarettes.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by MPR News about the importance of unstructured play in child development.

Nusheen Ameenuddin, MD, FAAP; Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP; and Angela Mattke, MD, FAAP, met with Surgeon General of the United State Jerome Adams during his visit to the Mayo Clinic on Aug. 27. The MNAAP members discussed immunization efforts with the surgeon general in a meeting organized and hosted by the Zumbro Valley Medical Society.

Katy Miller, MD, FAAP,  and Calla Brown, MD, FAAP, along with their team members Maura Shramko PhD and Maria Veronica Svetaz, MD (principal investigator), were recently awarded the Joanna Simer Research Fellowship Grant for their project “Latinx Youth Perspectives of Immigrant Policy Context, Deportation, and Family Resilience Processes: A Qualitative Exploration of Healthy Youth Development in Anti-Immigrant Contexts.” The team recently published a review of trauma-informed care for refugee and immigrant youth.

Nathan Chomilo, MD. FAAP, offered KARE 11 insight into childhood imaginary friends after a UK report noted a decrease in the prevalence of imaginary friends among children, citing screens as a possible reason.

Marjorie Hogan, MD, FAAP, co-wrote the book Terrific Toddlers! Simple Solutions, Practical Parenting. The book is a resource for parents navigating the toddler years.

Emily Chapman, MD, FAAP, chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, and Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP, state epidemiologist, were recently quoted in a Star Tribune article, “Teen lung diseases linked to vaping, Minnesota Health Department reports.” The article takes a closer look at four recent cases of lung injury in teens associated with vaping, and calls on physicians to be on the lookout for symptoms related to youth vaping.

Jeff Schiff, MD, FAAP, penned an open letter to Governor Tim Walz and state lawmakers calling for the creation of an independent board to oversee the Medicaid program and its policies. Dr. Schiff previously served as the medical director of Minnesota’s Medicaid program. You can read coverage of the letter in the Pioneer Press.

Janna Gewirtz-O’Brien, MD, FAAP, was quoted in a Star Tribune article that identified short-sighted decisions about Minnesota’s Medicaid program that are harming patients in the process. Dr. Gewirtz-O’Brien spoke to the barriers for patients to access long-acting reversible contraceptives or LARCs.

Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP, spoke with WCCO-TV about the importance of sports physicals as part of the station’s “Good Question” segment. You can see the video here.

Nusheen Ameenuddin, MD, FAAP, was promoted to chair of the Council on Communications and Media at American Academy of Pediatrics

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was a recent guest on the “What is Black?” podcast, discussing early literacy, racial and health equity. You can hear the podcast here.

Brian Lynch, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio as part of the “Call to Mind” mental health exhibit. Dr. Lynch spoke about adverse childhood experiences and how early trauma can affect kids, adults, and public health.

Angela Mattke, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by WGN – Chicago about her new book “Mayo Clinic Guide to Raising a Healthy Child.” You can see the interview here.

MNAAP President-Elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, represented the chapter at the recent signing of the Rare Disease Advisory Council bill, at the request of Erica Barnes, who advocated for the council’s creation after the death of her young daughter from a rare degenerative neural disorder.

Kathleen Miller, MD, FAAP, authored a counterpoint opinion article that was published in the Star Tribune, providing insight into the value of gender affirming care after the Children’s Minnesota’s gender health program was called risky and unnecessary by a previous letter to the editor.

After reading a Pioneer Press article about an 8-year-old girl who found her mom’s gun in her backpack,  MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, wrote a letter to the editor to make sure everyone knows the “4 simple steps to keep guns out of kids’ hands.”

Tom Scott, MD, FAAP, has been invited by the Children’s Defense Fund to serve on the 2019 Minnesota KIDS COUNT advisory group.

MNAAP President-Elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, authored an article in The American Jewish World advocating for rabbis and Jewish community leaders to take a stand for immunizations to protect children from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Read the full article here.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was joined by Cuong Pham, MD, at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 15, to advocate for the repeal of the sunset of the Provider Tax. You can see coverage from KARE11 of their efforts here.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, testified on May 10 before a legislative conference committee on behalf of Reach Out and Read MN’s inclusion in the education funding budget. You can see his testimony here (beginning at the 35:00 mark).

Sue Berry, MD, FAAP, co-chair of the MNAAP policy workgroup, authored a commentary about the provider tax in the Star Tribune.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, authored a letter to the editor in the Sun Post advocating for the repeal of the sunset of Minnesota’s provider tax.

Ann Sneiders, MD, FAAP, offered an evidence-based rebuttal to a previously published anti-vaccination letter to the editor in the Owatonna People’s Press. In her letter, Dr. Sneiders pointed to the importance of immunizations in preventing illness, writing “immune systems are like muscles — they need exercise to get strong.”

MNAAP President Lori DeFrance, MD, FAAP and three other MNAAP members will attend the American Academy of Pediatrics 2019 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, April 7-9. During the conference, participants will learn how to become effective child health advocates through interactive workshops and in-depth training sessions, while networking with pediatricians, residents and medical students from across the country.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician and internist at Park Nicollet, attended the April 3 State of the State address as a guest of Governor Tim Walz. Walz mentioned Dr. Chomilo’s work in his speech to emphasize the importance of repealing the sunset of the Provider Tax.

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, recently spoke to the Star Tribune about the opening of Children’s Minnesota’s clinic for transgender youth. Dr. Goepferd serves as medical director of the clinic. Read the article here: http://www.startribune.com/children-s-minnesota-opens-special-clinic-for-transgender-youth/508011532/ 

Emily Chapman, MD, FAAP, chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, spoke at a press conference in support of the Breakfast After the Bell legislation, which would make it easier for children to get breakfast at school.

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, an expert in childhood vaccines at Mayo Clinic, was interviewed by the Louisville Courier Journal after the governor of Kentucky said he favors exposure to chickenpox over vaccination. Read the article here https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/20/matt-bevin-exposed-kids-chickenpox-instead-vaccine/3221848002/

Emily Borman-Shoap, MD, testified before the Senate Higher Education Finance & Policy Committee on March 5 in support of SF 1702 (Clausen), which would provide funding to support mental health training for pediatric residents at the University of Minnesota.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, testified on behalf of HF 909, which would provide funding to address racial disparities in prenatal care.

Past MNAAP President Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP, recently testified in support of HF 8, which would require criminal background checks for private firearm sales and transfers and HF 9, also known as the “red flag” bill, which would allow law enforcement and family members to petition a court to prohibit people from possessing firearms if they pose a significant danger to themselves or others.

An op-ed written by Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, arguing the case for paid family medical leave, was printed in the Star Tribune on Feb. 25.

Past MNAAP President Mike Severson, MD, FAAP, and Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota Executive Director Bharti Wahi penned a great opinion piece encouraging lawmakers to repeal the sunset of the provider tax.

Past MNAAP President Marilyn Peitso, MD, FAAP, testified on Feb. 13 before the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee in support of House File 12, a bill that would ban “conversion therapy” for children or vulnerable adults in Minnesota. You can view her testimony here.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was selected by the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights to receive the 2019 History Makers at Home Award. The award honors African American leaders throughout the state who are making a difference in their communities in the areas of the business, health, education, government, and more. Dr. Chomilo was highlighted on the department’s Facebook page as part of a series introducing the award winners.

Angela Goepferd, MD, FAAP, spoke to KARE 11 about the impact online hate speech can have on children.

Lindsey Yock, MD, JD, FAAP, co-chair of MNAAP’s policy committee, testified about childhood hunger and health on Feb.5, 2019 before the House Education Finance Committee as part of an informational hearing on school nutrition. Her testimony is available at http://ww2.house.leg.state.mn.us/audio/mp3ls91/edfin020519.mp3 (beginning at 44:40).

Lucien Gonzalez, MD, MS, FAAP, was named chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatric’s national committee on Substance Use and Prevention. The committee is tasked with producing guidance for pediatricians, state and federal government, and other stakeholders to reduce harm from substance use.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, medical director of Reach Out and Read Minnesota, congratulated Minneapolis on becoming the country’s largest “Bookend City” in the country, meaning all 32 clinics in the city have chosen to participate in Reach Out and Read. Additionally, clinics had to meet eight quality measures, which included at least 75% of providers being trained in the model and every clinic creating a literacy-rich environment for their patients. All together in Minnesota, there are 262 clinics now participating in Reach Out and Read, representing 40% of all children ages 6 months through 5 years statewide.

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota, participated in a panel discussion following the Minnesota premiere of No Small Matter. The documentary focuses on the importance of high-quality early childhood education in child development. The screening was hosted by Children’s Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio, and HealthPartners.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee hosted MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, for a discussion of the health impact of screen time on children and adolescents on January 24. Dr. Berkowitz shared with the committee the most recent research about screen time and its impact on child health and brain development. Dr. Berkowitz’s testimony can be viewed at the link available here.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, co-authored a commentary in Minnesota Medicine focusing on the small but significant steps all physicians can take to make a difference in addressing health equity in Minnesota. Read the article here.

MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, offered the Star Tribune insight into Minnesota’s drop in national health rankings, particularly where low childhood vaccination rates are concerned. Read the article here.

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, past MNAAP president, pediatrician, and professor of pediatrics at Mayo Clinic, has been selected as Minnesota’s 2018 HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Champion for his continual efforts to promote HPV vaccination and its power to prevent cancer. For his 13 to 15-year-old patients seen in the last two years, 71.2 percent have completed the HPV vaccine series as compared to only about 19.5 percent of 13 to 15-year-olds statewide completing the recommended HPV series.

Read more about the work Dr. Jacobson has done to improve HPV vaccination rates.

A recent study published in Pediatrics involving the four children’s hospitals in Minnesota looked at the cause of delayed discharge in children with medical complexity. Of 1,582 delayed discharges, 92 percent were directly attributed to lack of availability in home care nursing. The study suggests that increasing the availability of home care nurses or post-acute care facilities could reduce the length of hospital stay and associated costs. Roy Maynard, MD, FAAP with Pediatric Home Service oversaw the study.

Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP, Minnesota Department of Health State Epidemiologist and Medical Director, was named co-chair on CDC‘s Acute Flaccid Myelitis Task Force.

Claire Neely, MD, FAAP was named President and CEO of ICSI.

Rachel Tellez, MD, FAAP wrote a letter published in the Washington Post about the role physicians play in reducing gun violence.

Nadia Maccabee-Ryaboy, MD testified in support of T21 at the Eden Prairie City Council. It successfully moved forward to a final vote the following month.

Nate Chomilo, MD, FAAP partnered with Twin Cities Medical Society to write a letter published in the Sun Post regarding Brooklyn Center’s T21 and E-cig sale restriction legislation. Both restrictions were voted in to place the same week.

Following a national search, UCare has hired Julia Joseph DiCaprio, MD, MPH, FAAP to lead the Medical Director team, as well as the Clinical Services, Pharmacy and Quality Management departments.

Lucien Gonzalez, MD, MS, FAAP, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and a Pediatric Addiction Medicine expert, was recognized by the AAP Section on Adolescent Health as the recipient of the Richard B. Heyman Award at the recent AAP National Conference & Exhibition.

Marc H. Gorelick, MD, MSCE, FAAP, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Minnesota was presented with the Jim Seidel Distinguished Service Award from the AAP’s Section on Emergency Medicine at the recent AAP National Conference & Exhibition.

Angela Mattke, MD, FAAP, with Mayo Clinic wrote an article for AAP News recently that provided tips for pediatricians on connecting with the public via Facebook Live Stream. Check it out»

Rachel Tellez, MD, FAAP, wrote an article about how to teach children about differences that was featured in the April issue of Minnesota Parent. Check it out»

Nate Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was awarded the Gretchen Hunsberger Medical Champion Achievement Award from Reach out and Read. Additionally, he and Judith Eckerle, MD, FAAP, were profiled in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine for the Top Docs: Rising Stars edition. Check it out»

Mary Murati, MD, FAAP was recognized with the Bill Richards Young Physician Leadership Award by Park Nicollet Foundation. Since 2009, Dr. Murati has been a Park Nicollet Pediatric Hospitalist, with a keen eye for quality improvement.

Elsa Keeler, MD, MPH, FAAP, was recently named Clinic Medical Director at the HealthPartners White Bear Lake clinic.

Updated 4/17/19

September 26, 2022

Each year, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics honors chapter members and individuals in the community for their dedication to the health and wellbeing of Minnesota’s children and adolescents with the Distinguished Service Award and the Eric Dick Child Advocacy Award. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a pediatrician for dedicating their life to improving care for children in Minnesota. The newly named Eric Dick Child Advocacy award honors MNAAP’s late lobbyist and is presented to a person or organization from the community who goes above and beyond in their everyday routine to advocate for children, embodying the importance of advocacy that Eric strove to instill in our chapter.

Chapter President Eileen Crespo, MD, FAAP, announced the 2022 award recipients at the annual meeting on Sept. 15. We applaud these individuals for their commitment to advocacy and advancement on behalf of Minnesota’s youngest residents.

2022 Distinguished Service Award

Lori DeFrance, MD, FAAP, dedicated more than a decade to the MNAAP Board of Directors, serving from 2010 to 2022, as the chapter president from 2018 to 2020, and as the foundation board president from 2020 to 2022.  Recently retired, Dr. DeFrance previously practiced medicine with Essentia Health in Duluth, and was a persistent voice which reminded the chapter to consider all of Minnesota’s children and teens in every part of the state. Her nominators recalled her “centering presence” which connected board members and allowed them to get to know one another outside of their roles as physicians. Others called her a calming, forward-thinking and a passionate pediatrician. Upon receiving her award at the chapter meeting, Dr. DeFrance said, “Pediatricians like you and me lay the foundation for our communities doing better by persistently and passionately advocating for the health and safety of children, adolescents and families. And this work continues through pandemics, gun violence, health care pressures and so on. So our work is needed now more than ever and I am so proud of you all.” 

2022 Eric Dick Child Advocacy Award

Kris Ehresmann, RN, MPH, is the former director of the Infectious Disease, Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). MNAAP President Eileen Crespo, MD, FAAP, called Ms. Ehresmann “fearless in her communication” during the early months and years of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Kris was the voice of calm and science. She interpreted the data and gave us a scientific basis for all the decisions being made,” said Dr. Crespo. “It’s really an honor to be recognized by the MNAAP,” Ms. Ehresmann said in her remarks. “I worked with Eric a lot in his role… To receive an award that honors Eric is especially meaningful to me.” She is recently retired from her role at MDH and is currently teaching epidemiology and public health at St. Olaf College.

Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-64B)  is the chair for the Minnesota House Committee on Early Childhood Finance and Policy and has been a long-standing supporter of early childhood education and care. “He is a passionate advocate for the youngest Minnesotans,” wrote one nominator, “and seems to do everything with their future in mind.” When Rep. Pinto received his award, he reflected that his involvement in early childhood work came when he asked himself, “Where can I really make a difference?” He encouraged chapter members to “please lean in. We need you, the kids of Minnesota need you…having your elected officials hear from you, know about the work that you’re doing and understand the kind of things they need to know to make good decisions for kids and for all of us, that is so important to do.”

August 11, 2022

Meg Bensignor, MD, FAAP

With a 95 percent increase in type 2 diabetes (T2DM) incidence in youth aged 10-19 years from 2001 to 2017, T2DM clearly is not just a disease of adulthood anymore. (1) It is also apparent that T2DM is not the same disease in adolescents as it is for adults. Firstly, T2DM in adolescents is a much more aggressive disease than in adults, characterized by rapid impairment of insulin secretion with up to 80 percent pancreatic β-cell function loss at the time of diagnosis. (2-6)  Additionally, medications that typically work well for adults are not as effective in adolescents. For example, despite treatment with metformin and lifestyle management, about half of adolescents with T2DM required insulin therapy in a median treatment time of 11.5 months, which is a much higher failure rate than adults. (7-11)  Two other medications commonly used in adults (dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors) were recently found to not improve diabetes control in adolescents as they were with adults. (12, 13, 14)  On top of this, diabetes-related comorbidities occur early in youth with about a 60 percent cumulative incidence of any microvascular complication (retinopathy, diabetic kidney disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, or nerve disease) in a mean of diagnosis length of 13 years. (15)

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends to start screening at age 10 years or the start of puberty, whichever is sooner. (16) Screening is typical done with a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), which can be quickly obtained in an office setting. Any patient should be screened annually if they have a BMI > 85th percentile for age and sex and have a maternal history of diabetes or gestational diabetes, a first or second degree relative with T2DM, or signs of insulin resistance (acanthosis nigricans,  skin tags, hypertension, dyslipidemia, history of small-for-gestational-age status, and polycystic ovarian syndrome). (16) However, is important to note that diabetes type cannot be diagnosed by signs of insulin resistance or BMI alone as 35-50 percent of youth with type 1 diabetes can also have overweight or obesity. (17) Obtaining diabetes auto-antibodies to exclude type 1 diabetes is recommended for all suspected cases of youth with diabetes before labeling a patient as having T2DM. (16)

Once T2DM is diagnosed with an HbA1c > 6.5 percent, a fasting glucose > 126 mg/dL, or a random glucose > 200 mg/dL with symptoms of polyuria, polydipsia, or unintentional weight loss, treatment with metformin should be started immediately along with lifestyle management. (16) A trial of lifestyle treatment alone without anti-diabetes pharmacotherapy is not recommend. Furthermore,  insulin therapy initiation and referral to a pediatric endocrinologists should be done if the HbA1c > 8.5 percent.16 Although still limited, there are expanding treatment options for pediatric T2DM, including two injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists recently FDA approved for the use of patients > 10 years (weekly exenatide extended-release and daily liraglutide 1.8mg). (18,19)

Staying vigilant of a T2DM diagnosis in youth is imperative as delayed diagnosis and treatment initiation can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome, and poor long-term glycemic control in an already remarkably aggressive disease. (20)


About the Author

Meg Bensignor, MD, FAAP,  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes at the University of Minnesota as well as a Core Faculty in the University of Minnesota Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine. She is a board-certified obesity medicine specialist and a pediatric endocrinologist, specializing in type 2 diabetes in youth. Dr. Bensignor’s area of research involves evaluating the effects of eating patterns on obesity risk and appetite, in addition to novel and effective treatments for youth with Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. She is part of the multidisciplinary team, which includes diabetes nurse educators, a dietician, and a social worker, that make up the Pediatric Type 2 Diabetes Clinic at the University of Minnesota/MHealth.


References

  1. Lawrence JM, Divers J, Isom S, et al. Trends in Prevalence of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Adolescents in the US, 2001-2017. JAMA. 2021;326(8):717-727.
  2. Elder DA, Woo JG, D’Alessio DA. Impaired beta-cell sensitivity to glucose and maximal insulin secretory capacity in adolescents with type 2 diabetes. Pediatr Diabetes. 2010;11(5):314-321.
  3. Elder DA, Hornung LN, Herbers PM, Prigeon R, Woo JG, D’Alessio DA. Rapid deterioration of insulin secretion in obese adolescents preceding the onset of type 2 diabetes. J Pediatr. 2015;166(3):672-678.
  4. Bacha F, Pyle L, Nadeau K, et al. Determinants of glycemic control in youth with type 2 diabetes at randomization in the TODAY study. Pediatr Diabetes. 2012;13(5):376-383.
  5. Group TS. Effects of metformin, metformin plus rosiglitazone, and metformin plus lifestyle on insulin sensitivity and β-cell function in TODAY. Diabetes Care. 2013;36(6):1749-1757.
  6. Michaliszyn SF, Mari A, Lee S, et al. β-cell function, incretin effect, and incretin hormones in obese youth along the span of glucose tolerance from normal to prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes. 2014;63(11):3846-3855.
  7. Brown JB, Conner C, Nichols GA. Secondary failure of metformin monotherapy in clinical practice. Diabetes Care. 2010;33(3):501-506.
  8. Consortium R. Metabolic Contrasts Between Youth and Adults With Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Recently Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes: II. Observations Using the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. Diabetes Care. 2018;41(8):1707-1716.
  9. Turner RC, Cull CA, Frighi V, Holman RR. Glycemic control with diet, sulfonylurea, metformin, or insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: progressive requirement for multiple therapies (UKPDS 49). UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) Group. JAMA. 1999;281(21):2005-2012.
  10. Barnes NS, White PC, Hutchison MR. Time to failure of oral therapy in children with type 2 diabetes: a single center retrospective chart review. Pediatr Diabetes. 2012;13(7):578-582.
  11. Zeitler P, Hirst K, Pyle L, et al. A clinical trial to maintain glycemic control in youth with type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2012;366(24):2247-2256.
  12. Jalaludin MY, Deeb A, Zeitler P, et al. Efficacy and safety of the addition of sitagliptin to treatment of youth with type 2 diabetes and inadequate glycemic control on metformin without or with insulin. Pediatr Diabetes. 2022;23(2):183-193.
  13. Shankar RR, Zeitler P, Deeb A, et al. A randomized clinical trial of the efficacy and safety of sitagliptin as initial oral therapy in youth with type 2 diabetes. Pediatr Diabetes. 2022;23(2):173-182.
  14. Tamborlane WV, Laffel LM, Shehadeh N, et al. Efficacy and safety of dapagliflozin in children and young adults with type 2 diabetes: a prospective, multicentre, randomised, parallel group, phase 3 study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2022;10(5):341-350.
  15. Bjornstad P, Drews KL, Caprio S, et al. Long-Term Complications in Youth-Onset Type 2 Diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2021;385(5):416-426.
  16. Draznin B, Aroda VR, Bakris G, et al. 14. Children and Adolescents: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2022. Diabetes Care. 2022;45(Supplement_1):S208-S231.
  17. Hamman RF, Bell RA, Dabelea D, et al. The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study: rationale, findings, and future directions. Diabetes Care. 2014;37(12):3336-3344.
  18. AstraZeneca. Bydureon BCise (exenatide extended-release) approved in the US for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in pediatric patients ages 10 years and older. 2021; ttps://www.astrazeneca-us.com/media/press-releases/2021/bydureon-bcise-exenatide-extended-release-approved-in-the-us-for-the-treatment-of-type-2-diabetes.html. Accessed November 24, 2021, 2021.
  19. Bacha F. FDA approval of GLP-1 receptor agonist (liraglutide) for use in children. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2019;3(9):595-597.
  20. Alemzadeh R, Ellis J, Calhoun M, Kichler J. Predictors of metabolic control at one year in a population of pediatric patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a retrospective study. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2006;19(9):1141-1149.

 

March 25, 2022

Amos S. Deinard, MD, MPH, FAAP, passed away at the age of 86 on March 9, 2022, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Deinard was a longtime member of MNAAP.

Dr. Deinard’s motto was, “Go forth and varnish” and he was an ardent supporter of pediatric oral health initiatives. In 2005, he helped found and direct the Minnesota Oral Health Project, an educational/research project, where the primary mission has been to increase public awareness of the caries crisis affecting high-risk children, improve access to early caries prevention services through training and support for medical and dental providers and to educate caregivers about healthy dental practices.

In 2015, Dr. Deinard received the American Public Health Association’s John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health. He remains the only non-dentist or dental hygienist to have received that recognition in the 40 years that the award has been presented. In December 2020, the Minnesota Department of Health Oral Health Program and the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition jointly awarded Dr. Deinard with a lifetime achievement award for his unwavering commitment to the oral health of Minnesota’s children.

 

 

 

(Biographical information taken from the Star Tribune obituary and the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition)

January 5, 2022

Dr. Ria Bardhan is a member of the MNAAP Board of Directors and co-chairs a chapter work group. Minnesota Pediatrician asked Dr. Ria Bardhan to answer our questions as this issue’s Member Spotlight. Thank you, Dr. Bardhan!

What drew you to pediatrics?

This was an interesting journey as several experiences growing up in India shaped my journey to practice pediatrics. 

I grew up in the eastern part of India in a large city called Kolkata with parents who were both physicians. Volunteering in the orphanage of the Missionaries of Charity and working with Mother Teresa led me to see how children can be impacted by poverty and how love, compassion, and basic health care can transform their lives. I had a real-world lesson in economic and social disparities, and I made a decision from that point forward that I would advocate and provide care for children through the medical practice of pediatrics. All of this has shaped the person I have become.

What is a typical day like for you?

I work as a pediatrician in community practice at Allina Health in Inver Grove Heights. The day revolves around well-child checks, sick visits, and mental health concerns affecting our pediatric population which are increasing daily. 

What draws me in most is helping patients and families with complex medical conditions and seeing the children through illness and through health with continuity of care. I am blessed to be practicing in a community where I get to partner with so many brilliant specialists and a healthcare organization that can provide the resources necessary for our patient population. I feel joy when I’m with my patients who are also my best teachers.

I am humbled with the opportunity and platform the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has given me through my roles as co-chair of the Mental Health and Behavioral Health Work Group, as an executive committee member, and through participation on the Executive Board. It is rewarding to work alongside many brilliant colleagues and partners who are all focused on delivering the best pediatric care for the children of Minnesota. 

I am also currently completing an Executive Masters in Healthcare Administration at my alma mater, the University of Minnesota. This education and experience give me a better understanding of improving healthcare delivery. My hope is to use this knowledge to improve access to healthcare and improve healthcare equity.

What is an advocacy issue (or issues) that you feel called to support? 

There are many issues at the forefront of our field that I am currently passionate about. Addressing mental and behavioral health in our pediatric and adolescent population was already a major issue, and the pandemic has only accelerated this need. We knew about the rise in mental health concerns prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but to witness a “tsunami of this magnitude” affecting our kids was not something our system was not prepared to handle. It is heart-breaking to see the lives of children changed so dramatically, and crisis times make them more vulnerable despite their brave faces. 

Substance abuse, eating disorders, suicidal attempts, and witnessing violence are just some of the many impacts of this pandemic that have been on the rise too. The helplessness and uncertainty families are facing alongside these children are real too. Disparities and inequities tend to worsen the impact of the pandemic. Addressing social determinants of equity, childhood hunger, and poverty are additional areas I feel passionate about. 

Reducing preventable illness and taking care of complex medical conditions are areas I find myself making an impact on in order to improve the health of Minnesota’s pediatric population.

When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy doing? 

I enjoy traveling and seeing new places and meeting new people. I enjoy exposure to new cultures and trying to bring back positive elements to my daily life in Minnesota. I also realized in the pandemic that I can keep plants alive and have grown fond of gardening flowers and vegetables during the last two summers!

What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?

Hmm, this is a difficult question! I don’t think I’d call myself adventurous, but I have tried my hand at fly-fishing in Colorado and whale watching in the Atlantic. I found myself truly at one with nature and calmer during these events than I expected. I plan to see more whales in the Pacific Ocean, too, when traveling permits me to do so!

June 21, 2021

A message from Chapter President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP:

This year our chapter has seen a huge level of interest in serving on our board of directors as evidenced by the very large number of candidates that either self-nominated or were nominated by others. Our executive committee has taken this as a sign that we are on the right track and our chapter members value the work our chapter and board are doing.

When we put out the call for nominees to the board, we didn’t attach any guidelines as to who or what we were looking for – despite the fact that we have always had a goal to include pediatricians from around the state and not just from the Twin Cities Metro area. To help accomplish this goal, this year we have divided our candidates into those working in the Twin Cities Metro Area and those outside of that. Although some of our nominated candidates have elected not to run, we still have one non-metro candidate which we are thrilled about. We would therefore ask you to vote for one candidate from the non-metro group and two from the metro group.

In addition, our executive committee also realized that in hindsight, we should have been more explicit in encouraging candidates who can help us increase the racial and cultural diversity of our board. It is important that we not only have many perspectives contributing to our board, but also that we reflect the patient populations we serve. As we have been told by many, if we want to see more pediatricians who are Black, Indigenous or Persons of Color (BIPOC) be involved with our chapter, we need to make sure there are more BIPOC pediatricians on our board.

To help accomplish this goal, we have asked each of our board candidates to include in their cover statement what aspect of their identity is important to them and they would like others to know, and also how they see themselves being able to help our board become more diverse and move our chapter’s anti-racism and equity work forward. For two candidates, after considering our additional request, they decided to withdraw their names from the election as they didn’t believe that in fact, their possible election would lead to an increased racial and cultural diversity of our board. This is a very strong statement that they made about the future of our board and chapter. In the future, we plan to be more explicit in our call for board candidates as to what we are looking for in candidates to join us on the board.

Please take all of these thoughts under consideration as you vote for our three open board seats. I should also mention that our revised Bylaws include a new officer position for which we have one candidate who also needs to be voted on by the chapter.

Thank you in advance for voting for our open board seats and our secretary position.

Please vote by June 30, 2021. Click here to vote. 

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